Message to Trump? Countries say climate fight 'irreversible'
MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) — Government delegates meeting for U.N. climate talks reiterated their commitment to the Paris Agreement with a proclamation Thursday saying climate action is "irreversible," the buzzword at the two-week conference after the uncertainty caused by the U.S. election.
The proclamation calls for "the highest political commitment to combat climate change" and reaffirms the promise by rich countries to mobilize $100 billion annually by 2020 to help poor countries deal with it.
President-elect Donald Trump pledged during his campaign to "cancel" U.S. involvement in last year's Paris deal and to cut off American funding for U.N. global warming programs.
Delegates at the talks in Marrakech have downplayed his remarks and adopted a wait-and-see approach about how Trump will approach the Paris deal once in office.
"The direction of travel from Paris is indeed irreversible," South African Environment Minister Edna Molewa told reporters. "There can be no backtracking on commitments made by developed countries and no attempt to renegotiate the terms of the text agreed in Paris."
Brazil's chief climate negotiator, Jose Antonio Marcondes de Carvalho, had a similar message, saying Paris put the world on an "irreversible path" while China's top climate official Xie Zhenhua said the global trend toward a low-carbon economy is "irreversible."